Saturday, April 28, 2012

Obama Favors Freedom For Some Not All --Bahrain: Shouting in the dark - - Al Jazeera English, 3/4

Bahrain The Forgotten Uprising ; Shouting In The Dark-AlJazeera 4/4

When the USA and its allies fail to abide by international law in their ongoing military conflicts they are then robbed of taking the moral, ethical or even legal high-ground.

The USA and its allies in Iraq have killed or murdered one million Iraqis arguing that all Iraqis must pay the price in blood for the 9/11 attacks and for the wounding or killing of any American soldier or other American or allied personnel in Iraq.
So given these facts as I have argued below the Americans and their allies by their criminal and barbaric actions cannot expect their so-called enemies to abide by international law or even common decency.

See International Law on reprisals and collective guilt : International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.Part III : Status and treatment of protected persons #Section I : Provisions common to the territories of the parties to the conflict and to occupied territories


[p.225] Article 33 is derived from Article 50 of the Hague Regulations: "No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they can not be regarded as jointly and severally responsible".
The text adopted unanimously in Geneva in 1949 reproduces, with only slight changes, the original draft of the International Committee of the Red Cross (1).


1. ' Prohibition of collective penalties '

The first paragraph embodies in international law one of the general principles of domestic law, i.e. that penal liability is personal in character.
This paragraph then lays a prohibition on collective penalties. This does not refer to punishments inflicted under penal law, i.e. sentences pronounced by a court after due process of law, but penalties of any kind inflicted on persons or entire groups of persons, in defiance of the most elementary principles of humanity, for acts that these persons have not committed.
This provision is very clear. If it is compared with Article 50 of the Hague Regulations, it will be noted that that Article could be interpreted as not expressly ruling out the idea that the community might bear at least a passive responsibility (2).
Thus, a great step forward has been taken. Responsibility is personal and it will no longer be possible to inflict penalties on persons Who have themselves not committed the acts complained of.
Obviously, the belligerents will retain the right to punish individuals who have committed hostile acts, in accordance with Article 64 et sqq. concerning penal legislation and procedure, when it is a matter of safegarding their legitimate interests and security.

2. ' Measures of intimidation or of terrorism '

During past conflicts, the infliction of collective penalties has been intended to forestall breaches of the law rather than to repress [p.226] them; in resorting to intimidatory measures to terrorise the population, the belligerents hoped to prevent hostile acts. Far from achieving the desired effect, however, such practices, by reason of their excessive severity and cruelty, kept alive and strengthened the spirit of resistance. They strike at guilty and innocent alike. They are opposed to all principles based on humanity and justice and it is for that reason that the prohibition of collective penalties is followed formally by the prohibition of all measures of intimidation or terrorism with regard to protected persons, wherever they may be (3)...

Even in war time or in a civil war medical personnel are expected to treat any person wounded no matter what side they happen to be on.
Under International Law it is a war crime to target medical personnel or to detain them for carrying out their duties.
The authorities in Bahrain backed by Saudi Arabia and the USA argue that medical personnel are breaking the law by treating these protesters.

see World Medical Association : WMA Statement on the Protection and Integrity of Medical Personnel in Armed Conflicts and Other Situations of Violence

Adopted by the 62nd WMA General Assembly, Montevideo, Uruguay, October 2011

During wars and armed conflicts hospitals and other medical facilities have often been attacked and misused and patients and medical personnel have been killed or wounded. Such attacks are a violation of the Geneva Conventions (1949), Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions (1977) and WMA regulations in times of war (2006).

The World Medical Association (WMA) has been active in condemning documented attacks on medical personnel and facilities in armed conflicts. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols shall protect medical personnel in international and non-international armed conflicts. The warring parties have duty not to interfere with medical care for wounded or sick combatants and civilians, and not attack, threaten or impede medical functions. Physicians and other health care personnel must be considered as neutral and must not be prevented from fulfilling their duties.

The lack of systematic reporting and documentation of violence against medical personnel and facilities creates threats to both civilians and military personnel. The development of strategies for protection and efforts to improve compliance with the laws of war are impeded as long as such information is not available.

also see: Crimes of War International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC)By Michael Ignatieff

That the Obama Regime has not condemned and called for investigations into the government of Bahrain's arresting and charging medical personnel for carrying out their duties. This sin of Omission by the Obama Regime and its allies shouldn't surprise anyone who has been paying attention to the way the USA and the West have conducted their on going wars of Aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and so forth.

According to the post 9/11 rules of engagement the Geneva Conventions and international laws regarding the treatment of combatants and non-combatants the USA even under the Obama administration they believe that all such laws no longer apply at least to the USA and its allies including NATO and middle Eastern nations which are considered American allies.

As George W. Bush said "you are either on our side or on the side of the terrorists" and Obama agrees . Meanwhile it is the White House and the Pentagon who decide which groups or which protesters are to be encouraged or discouraged.
As we know the USA reserves the right on its own to decide which actions contravene international law and which do not.
The USA rejects the very idea that its military forces and the CIA and Special Ops and their mercenaries (Blackwater etc.) have committed numerous war crimes.

So when American forces attack civilian infrastructure such as highways, factories, schools, hospitals, water and sewage treatment plants and power stations they are according to their rationalizations doing what they need to do to stop the "terrorists".

We have watched in Iraq how little concern was shown for non-combatants innocent civilians .
According to International Humanitarian Laws "It is forbidden to use weapons or methods of warfare that are likely to cause unnecessary losses or excessive suffering."

So when American forces surrounded Fallujah they refused to allow human rights representatives, or the red Cross or Red Crescent into the city which the US forces bombed murdering thousands . As the USA did in Vietnam and elsewhere they were more concerned with getting a high body count than ensuring that civilians would not purposely be targeted.

The major attack on Fallujah was in fact done as an act of revenge or reprisal blaming all the citizens of Fallujah that is holding them collectively responsible for the deaths of four American mercenaries murdered and their bodies mutilated by a mob.
So like other rogue states such as Saddam's Regime before them the US and allied forces decided to destroy Fallujah and kill thousands of innocent civilians to send a message to all insurgents and terrorists. This form of killing as an act of revenge or reprisal is prohibited under International law.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya the Americans and their allies used banned weapons such as White phosphorus /Napalm and cluster bombs and land mines even in densely populated towns and cities. Obama added to America's arsenal by relying more and more on Armed unmanned Drones to take whole villages because there might be terrorists hiding in these villages. The Drones were also used to target weddings, funerals, religious gatherings etc. if they received intel on "terrorists" taking part in these community events. The attitude since 9/11 is that everyone is a possible threat to US security or to the security of America's allies or a threat to American interests.

Since 9/11 American leaders have informed the world that whatever they do is justified and therefore morally acceptable and therefore legal.
So when an American soldier guns down innocent civilians or members of the press it is justifiable. But when America's enemies commit similar actions they are branded "Terrorists" and war criminals.
So given the fact that tens of thousands of civilians have been murdered by the USA's military and that of its allies we can not expect them to criticize their allies for doing the same things ie abusing detainees (POWS) or dissidents denying them their civil rights or their human rights.

The USA and its allies have also been guilty of not giving medical aid to those who are wounded who are either enemy combatants or innocent civilians.

American forces and its allies have also shot and killed enemy combatants who tried to surrender to them.
There are or were a number of videos showing US soldiers shooting wounded Enemy Combatants who were on the ground having no weapon either crawling or lying still.
there are a number of cases where US helicopters have shot and killed wounded persons or even those who tried to surrender.
If someone puts their hands up to surrender it is up to US soldiers to take them prisoner themselves or call for ground troops to take the person prisoner.
In the Infamous Bagdad helicopter massacre the US crew even shot and killed those who were wounded but not killed. They also fired on Good Samaritans who attempted to give aid to the wounded.
In the same incident US forces refused to evacuate the children who had been shot to an american medical center or to treat them on site.
It is forbidden to kill or wound an adversary who surrenders or who can no longer take part in the fighting.

Therefore since Bahrain is an American ally they are permitted to do whatever they feel is necessary to crush dissidents and protesters and others who support anti-government pro-reform protesters.
Since 9/11 the USA has committed numerous war crimes with impunity because the USA no longer recognizes International laws including the Geneva Conventions.

So tell me again why the Obama Regime is supposedly somehow morally or ethically superior to the former Bush Regime.
For instance Obama did not close Guantanamo prison . Obama still insists on calling those captured on the battlefield "Detainees" who have no rights as opposed to calling them POWs who do have rights.

President Obama also failed to investigate the alleged crimes committed by the Bush Regime. He claimed he wanted to move forward and not in his view waste time trying to bring these criminals to justice. Obama has even chastised any American or any nation which might insist that these War Criminals be arrested, detained ,prosecuted in an open court and allow Justice to be served.
We now can see why Obama did not want to go after members of the Bush Regime for alleged crimes because he had already decided before taking office to continue with the Bush Regimes policies including torture, renditions, using death squads and targeted assassinations and pre-emptive war ie Libya and Iran and Syria and now possibly North Korea or even China.
Obama is more concerned with in expanding the American Empire than he is with such quaint notions as human rights and the International rules , laws and agreements on how a war is to be conducted. So when the USA destroyed the infrastructure of Iraq or Libya or Afghanistan this was considered to be necessary and therefore legal.

But also it should be obvious to anyone that the Obama Regime when it comes to its endless wars and to how American citizens have been treated taking who have taken part in the #OWS/ Occupy Movement protests.

The police in New York, Denver, Portland, Chicago and on university campuses across America have used brute force and unnecessary force on these protesters even though they the protesters remained non-violent. So President Obama has said and done nothing to stop the police brutality. Instead protesters have been gassed, beaten, abused and arrested without much concern for American law or the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. We can only conclude that the various municipalities have been given the green light to use whatever force they wish to against these protesters because the White House considers these protesters as enemies of the state. In other words US citizens can protest as long as they do not protests in order to undermine the status quo and the ruling elites.

Also see:

The essential rules of international humanitarian law

Persons who do not or can no longer take part in the hostilities are entitled to respect for their life and for their physical and mental integrity. Such persons must in all circumstances be protected and treated with humanity, without any unfavorable distinction whatever.

It is forbidden to kill or wound an adversary who surrenders or who can no longer take part in the fighting.

The wounded and sick must be collected and cared for by the party to the conflict which has them in its power. Medical personnel and medical establishments, transports and equipment must be spared. The red cross or red crescent on a white background is the sign protecting such persons and objects and must be respected.

Captured combatants and civilians who find themselves under the authority of the adverse party are entitled to respect for their life, their dignity, their personal rights and their political, religious and other convictions. They must be protected against all acts of violence or reprisal. They are entitled to exchange news with their families and receive aid.

Everyone must enjoy basic judicial guarantees and no one may be held responsible for an act he has not committed. No one may be subjected to physical or mental torture or to cruel or degrading corporal punishment or other treatment.

Neither the parties to the conflict nor members of their armed forces have an unlimited rights to choose methods and means of warfare. It is forbidden to use weapons or methods of warfare that are likely to cause unnecessary losses or excessive suffering.

The parties to a conflict must at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare the civilian population and civilian property. Neither the civilian population as whole nor individual civilians may be attacked. Attacks may be made solely against military objectives.

For more on America's resistance in International Law or The United Nations :

US Renounces UN's World Court Move outrages human rights groups

Dateline: 05/07/02

Through a letter to the U.N., the Bush administration has reserved the right of the U.S. to ignore decisions and orders issued by the International Criminal Court. The action effectively neutralizes President Clinton's signature to the treaty creating the court.

Established under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 1998, the court was established to serve as an ad hoc world tribunal responsible for prosecuting war crimes and "crimes against humanity," when national criminal justice systems are "unwilling or unable to act." [See: Establishment of the Court]

While human rights organizations have expressed outrage over President Bush's action, former President Clinton, who signed the treaty on behalf of the U.S. on Dec. 31, 2000, stated at the time that he did not intend to sending the pact to the Senate for official ratification. Clinton stated that he agreed to sign the treaty only to allow the U.S. to participate in discussions on the court's structure and jurisdiction.

Both former President Clinton and President Bush expressed reservations that the treaty could lead to politically-motivated prosecution of U.S. government leaders or military personnel.

While Canada and all but one of the 15 nations of the European Union have ratified the treaty since 1998, U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues Pierre-Richard Prosper is quoted in an Associated Press article as stating that President Bush's action makes it clear to the U.N. that, "we [the U.S.] are not going to be a party to the process."

and here's a scathing attack by Russia concerning Human Rights Abuses in the USA. Pretty bad when Russia

Russia Slams US for Human Rights Abuses via Voice Of America,Dec. 28, 2011
is calling out the USA for its human rights abuses in the US and in the US's Global War on Terror.

Russia's foreign ministry is accusing the United States of human rights violations both at home and abroad, in its first-ever report on the state of human rights in other countries.

The report, released Wednesday, criticizes the U.S. for the continued operation of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and accuses the White House of sheltering officials and CIA operatives from prosecution.

The report also laments what it calls U.S. prying into citizens' private lives and says the situation in the United States is "far from the ideals" proclaimed by Washington.

In the past, the Russian foreign ministry has strongly slammed U.S. accusations of Russian rights violations in the State Department's annual reports on human rights worldwide.

Russia's Interfax news agency says a Russian foreign ministry representative on human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, speaking at a briefing on the report, also accused NATO of committing human rights violations during the conflict this year in Libya.

Interfax quotes the official as saying Russia believes there is a need for an "unbiased investigation" into all violations of international humanitarian law in Libya.

also see: UN to Investigate US for Human Rights Abuses Against Native Americans via Fox News, April 23, 2012

and: Ellsberg: Wikileaks Logs Show Clear US War Crimes in Iraq—Manning Was Reportedly Motivated By Conscience
by ELLSBERG.NET on MARCH 18, 2011

and : Obama Gave Manning “Verdict First, Trial Later.” by ELLSBERG.NET on DECEMBER 23, 2011

and: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: Documents on 'thousands' of possible US war crimes in Afghanistan BY RICHARD SISK AND CORKY SIEMASZKO DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Monday, July 26, 2010

And Obama's reaction to leaked documents exposing US war crimes is to ignore the crimes committed and to go after Wikileaks and the supposed leaker Bradley Manning . This provides evidence of Obama's so called open government being as secret if not more so than George w. Bush and the gang. One gang replaces another. Obama is not a real friend of open government .
Obama even more so than Bush is determined to prosecute Whistleblowers even though
he had promised more protection for Whistleblowers.

White House blasts leak of secret Afghanistan documents posted on WikiLeaks whistleblower website BY RICHARD SISK DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU Monday, July 26, 2010

and see my blog post: US War Crimes: Bagdad Massacre & Murdering Afghan Women & Pentagon Targeting Whistleblowers & Wikileaks April 7, 2010 by Al-Jazeera-English Iraq Outrage over US Killing Video

and my post: #OWS War Crimes ? What War Crimes ? From Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan US Military Covers up War Crimes With Successive White House Blessing Update: 5:14 ,October 11, 2011

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